Bike Lane Hazard?
I’ve been sent this video quite a few times after it was published in the AdelaideNow online newspaper last week. I appreciate and respect fellow cyclist’s efforts in lobbing for better bicycle laneways which I’m all for, but seriously, you’re endangering your own life if you’re not confident to ride in the type of traffic shown in the video. A bike lane is only a white line and a false sense of security. Most of the times I’ve been hit or almost hit by a car it’s been by a driver turning left into me through the bike lane.
As it states in the YouTube description, this is awkwardly embarrassing:
To minimize the risk of cars passing too close the cyclist rocks from side to side and flaps his arms to seem unpredictable to cars behind so they will not try and pass unless they can give him a wide berth.
I’m not convinced this is the best approach. Instead of flapping your arms like a chicken, simply give yourself some presence by riding a meter out from the curb so that traffic has no choice but to go around rather than squeeze by you. Be predictable on the road so that drivers can judge how they’re going to get around. We may be annoying them with our chosen form of transportation or recreation, but 99% of drivers aren’t homicidal and aren’t going to try to kill you. Riding like a maniac isn’t going to discourage the small percentage of drivers trying to give you a scare.
Also, if the unmarked 300m stretch is indeed that dangerous, you may want to consider merging onto the perfectly good walking path on your left in the video. Riding on it might be illegal, but if you’re not confident enough to ride in traffic the small inconvenience may be the safest bet to get you home.
That said, I’m speaking with complete and utter ignorance to the cyclist/motorist situation in Adelaide. I’ve only ridden there once but it didn’t seem much different than Melbourne. However, Queensland drivers are a different beast altogether. Shocking!